The Patriots released linebacker Brandon Spikes Monday morning, a day after his car was found abandoned on a highway near Gillette Stadium.
Patriots VP of Media Relations Stacey James did not elaborate on the reason for Spikes’ release or whether the team spoke to him prior to the release.
Massachusetts police said they found a 2011 Mercedes registered to Spikes abandoned and with front-end damage on I-495 in Foxborough at about 3:30 a.m. Sunday.
A representative of the OnStar navigation system told police the driver of the Mercedes reported hitting a deer around that time, but police found no deer. Police are also investigating a hit-and-run that sent three people to the hospital in the same area around the same time, but have not directly linked the two. Police said that vehicle, a 2009 Nissan Murano, was rear-ended.
A call to Spikes’ agent for comment was not immediately returned.
A state trooper told Boston.com Sunday night that a charge is likely if police can determine who was driving.
“In 21 years as a road trooper, experience tells me that there will at least be a charge of leaving the scene of a property-damage accident,’’ State Trooper Matthew Guarino said.
Spikes signed with the Patriots on a deal that could have netted him as much as $2 million had he met all incentives, but included just a $25,000 guarantee.
The 27-year-old Spikes spent last season with the Buffalo Bills after getting released by the Patriots following the 2013 season. He spent the first four seasons of his career in New England after being selected in the second round of the 2010 NFL draft.
With linebacker Dont’a Hightower and Jerod Mayo recovering from surgeries, Spikes — whose strength is stopping the run — was expected to provide the Patriots with some much-needed depth at linebacker.
While with the Bills, Spikes took to Twitter in April 2014 saying it’d be “icing on the cake’’ to beat the Patriots twice. He also referred to his tenure in New England as “four years a slave.’’
“We can clearly see that me and ‘The Hoodie’ kissed and made up,’’ Spikes said during Patriots OTAs in May. “I’m here. That’s in the past. I’m moving on. So that’s dead… I think we’re both happy I’m here and were able to put things aside, let bygones be bygones.
But after the Patriots put up 37 points on the Bills defense in Buffalo last season, Spikes was singing a different tune.
“I talked a lot of trash in the offseason, and I didn’t back it up,’’ Spikes said after the Bills 37-22 loss in October. “We did everything in our power to lose that game.’’
The Patriots placed Spikes — who played with a bad knee in 2013 — on season-ending injured reserve Jan. 6, 2014 after he showed up late for a practice on Jan. 3. He became an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and signed a one-year, $3.25 million deal.
In 16 games for the Patriots in 2013, Spikes tallied 86 tackles, good for third on the team.
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Boston.com staff writer Jeremy Gottlieb contributed to this report.